So Dell finally launched its Adamo laptop range after weeks of hints, pseudo news and tips, subtly leaked to the press and bloggers.
But Dell's fashion statement laptop, epitomised by a stratospheric price and a cryptic website that says as little as possible, is apparently the company's main medium to "broaden people's perception of Dell".
But we think that Adamo is going to be a dud and here's five good reasons why we think Dell might regret launching this range.
(1) Range or Product
Dell squarely pits the Adamo against the Mac Book Air. But unlike the Apple product, Dell apparently wants a whole range of devices. This gives rise to some confusion. According to the BBC, Adamo is the name of the product that was launched today. But it is also the name of the range. Is Adamo a single product or the name given to a whole range? If we are confused, so will be the customers
(2) Alienware and Overlapping
Dell already has an exclusive brand and it is called Alienware. Dell acquired the company, which specialises in niche markets, back in 2006. Unfortunately and unlike its direct competitor (HP's Voodoo PC sells the gorgeous 13.3-inch Envy 133), Alienware doesn't manufacture any laptops under 15.4-inch. And it gets worse. Dell has four laptop ranges with 13.3-inch screens: Vostro, XPS, Studio XPS and Latitude. With the exception of the Vostro, any of the three other strands could have been upgraded to Adamo status. Is Dell secretly trying to divide the market in order to rule?
(3) The Economy
Dell is not Apple and has already shown some worrying vulnerabilities as it is not immune to the economic downturn; to launch a luxury product, let alone a complete range, such as the Adamo could be viewed as a commercial suicide. The cheaper version starts at a whopping £1649 which makes the Mac Book Air seems like a true bargain at £1271.
(4) Windows Vista Home 64 bit OS
For some reason, Dell chose Windows Vista Home 64 bit as Adamo's only operating system. A better choice would almost certainly have been Windows Vista Ultimate 32 bit or even Windows XP Pro. Customers should be allowed to opt for something else.
(5) The Competition
As we mentioned above, Adamo's main competitor will be Apple's Mac Book Air which currently sells for £1271 for the base unit and £1761 for the elite version. Both should be faster than Adamo. The Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN weighs 1.9Kg, 200g more than Dell's laptop and yet costs less than half the price at £782. The Dell XPS M1330 also weighs 1.9Kg but costs less than a third at £460 excluding VAT.
So true, Dell's Adamo "was about making a stylish product that's high in design and craftsmanship." but as we showed, Dell itself appears to be a bit confused about it, there is significant overlap with many of the company's own products, the timing of the launch was dubious at least and the competition has similar products costing less.